Objective: There are differences in the clinical characteristics and surgical results between upper (L1-2 and L2-3) and lower (L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1) lumbar disc herniations. We conducted this study to compare the clinical features and surgical outcomes between the two types of lumbar disc herniations. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical features of patients who underwent microdiscectomies from 2008 to 2012. We evaluated the clinical characteristics such as age, preoperative autonomic dysfunction, the presence or absence of previous lumbar surgery and fusion required during surgery. Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores about back pain and leg pain were evaluated preoperatively and at the final follow-up. Results: Upper lumbar group (n=15) was significantly older than lower lumbar group (n=148). The incidence of autonomic dysfunction was significantly higher in upper lumbar group. The number of patients with a previous lumbar surgery was significantly greater in upper lumbar group. There was no statistical significance for fusion required during surgery between two groups. Both groups showed a significant decrease in the VAS scores of leg pain. VAS scores of back pain were significantly decreased in lower lumbar group. But this was not seen in upper lumbar group. Both groups showed significant improvement of Oswestry Disability Index score. Conclusion: Upper lumbar group had different clinical characteristics from those of lower lumbar group and these include older age, a higher incidence of autonomic dysfunctions and a higher incidence of patients with previous lumbar surgery. There were no significant differences in surgical outcomes, except for back pain, between two groups.
Issn2005-3711 (Print) 1598-7876 (Electronic)
JournaltitleJournal of Korean Neurosurgical Society